Bravely Second: End Layer gets free demo

Bravely Second: End Layer gets free demo

Bravely Second: End Layer, the sequel to Square Enix’s Bravely Default, is officially launching in North America in just a couple days. Players who want to try out the game before they buy it can download a free demo today, titled Bravely Second: End Layer – The Ballad of the Three Cavaliers on the Nintendo 3DS’s eShop. The demo contains a bonus adventure that is not featured within the main game, and playing the demo will earn bonuses that are transferable to the full game.

Bravely Default and Bravely Second: End Layer are turn-based JRPGs with a unique risk-and-reward battle system. Bravely Second: End Layer takes place a few years after the end of Bravely Default with a whole new story and plenty of new classes and enemies.

Bravely Second: End Layer launches on April 15. To see Cody Orme’s thoughts on the game, check out our review.

Nintendo of America launches enhanced eShop

Nintendo of America launches enhanced eShop

Alongside the launch of the Miitomo app and the My Nintendo program, Nintendo will be releasing an updated version of the Wii U and 3DS eShop on March 31. Users with a Nintendo account will be able to access the enhanced eShop from smartphones and computers, which opens up new purchasing options for Wii U and 3DS owners. Any purchases made online will be sent directly to the user’s Wii U or 3DS system. The eShop features more than 2,000 games and plenty of DLC and miscellaneous content.

The enhanced eShop will also include categories to filter games based on popularity, genre, or by currently discounted titles. Purchases from this site will earn My Nintendo Gold Points, a currency within the My Nintendo program that can be used to purchase popular software titles such as Super Mario 64 and Donkey Kong Country Returns, as well earn special perks and discounts.

The updated eShop will release simultaneously with Miitomo and My Nintendo on March 31.

Nintendo Direct Shows Strong Momentum For Nintendo

Nintendo Direct Shows Strong Momentum For Nintendo

The second Nintendo Direct since the passing of Satoru Iwata showed a strong push for Nintendo, promising a strong summer lineup.

Showcased for the WiiU was further gameplay for Starfox Zero, was well as an official April 22

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release date. Not only that, but a spin-off game (originally showcased at E3 2014) titled StarFox: Guard where players will set up 12 cameras to find and defeat enemies who are attacking the mining site of Slippy Toad’s uncle, Grippy Toad. The game includes about 100 stages, but players can also create their own stages by editing the placement of enemies and uploading their levels online.

Along with updates to Super Mario Maker, and Splatoon, Shin Megami Tensai’s Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (which I officially couldn’t care less about now) as well as Lost Reavers coming to WiiU, the biggest announcement for WiiU was Paper Mario: Color Splash. Looking very similar to Sticker Star the game looks to blend gameplay elements from Sticker Star with a new color-based and painting mechanics. Being one of the few defenders of Sticker Star, I’ll be reserving judgments of gameplay, but I must say Paper Mario looks incredible in HD.

For the 3DS, Nintendo is rolling out a new Kirby game: Kirby: Planet Robobot which has Kirby piloting a giant mech. Enough said. Along side Planet Robobot will be an official line of Kirby amiibos, so anyone who missed a chance to get a Meta-Knight can lament no more!

Nintendo also showed off more gameplay for the much loathed Metroid Prime: Federation Force, as well as Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation the third entry to the Fates story. Nintendo also showed gameplay for Bravely Second, Hyrule Legends and rolled out Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past which is being remade from the ground up for the 3DS.

The biggest reveal for the 3DS was Monster Hunter: Generations which looks just as good as the latest Monster Hunter offerings on 3DS, as well as showing off some interesting new features. Also being added to the 3DS is the inclusion of SNES games to the 3DS eShop, and while some may lament buying many of the games they already have for a third time, it would be pretty cool to play Earthbound on the bus, so sign me up!

Overall, this looks to be a promising summer for Nintendo.

Mario Carrying The Team Now More Than Ever

Mario Carrying The Team Now More Than Ever

During the 90s, I was a proud owner of the Sega Genesis. Playing Sonic and Maximum Carnage hours on end are some of the best memories I have playing videogames. I love my Genesis, and Sega loved the Genesis too. I remember the boasting about how much better it was than the Super NES. Others would say the same thing as well, often bringing up the fact that games on the Genesis sounded much better than they did the Nintendo counterpart. So how did the black 16-bit machine slip into Nintendo’s shadow? Well, it always seems to come back to Mario, who’s had a firm grip on nostalgic and new gaming audiences alike. Decades ago, the fearless plumber took the world by storm, and is still one of the most – if not the most – recognizable video game characters ever. No game involving Mario or anyone within his universe goes by unnoticed. “Everybody wants the Mario or Mario Party games. Then it’s Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart,” explained Sheng Toy, co-owner of A&C Games in Toronto.

Mario Party

Tablets and other mobile devices now offer different gaming experiences to the ever-growing gaming audience. However, even to this day, icons like Mario and Zelda are still at the tip of a lot of tongues whenever games are mentioned. Titles bearing the names of famous Nintendo mascots continue to be hot collector’s items. “At one point, the original Nintendo games were the most popular, like the NES and Super NES games,” said Toy. “N64 games became more popular last year, and this year people are really looking for GameCube games.” Toy thinks the heavier focus on digital downloads through the Wii U eShop isn’t sitting well with most Nintendo fans. The beauty with collecting the classics he said is the fact that there’s something to actually hold and place on your shelf. Toy added it’s a big part of why GameCube games are still so popular this year. The lack of actual games available for the Wii U, compared to the GameCube, which had a substantial amount of exclusives, certainly doesn’t help either. The underwhelming launch of the Wii U is nothing compared to the GameCube’s arrival, which was accompanied by many anticipated launch games. Some had nothing to do with Mario. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was one of the GameCube’s most successful launch titles despite Luigi’s Mansion and NHL Hitz 2002 hitting store shelves at the same time.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

It’s obvious Nintendo’s handhelds are currently the heart of their engine, and recent titles like Pokemon X and Y have really helped boost 3DS sales. Unlike the past, where the Gameboy served as the popular sidekick to the Nintendo 64, the Wii U has been overshadowed by the 3DS. “We have costumers interested in one of those on a daily basis,” said store manager Daniel Teixeira. He thinks a digital library of classic games on the Wii U, would quickly prove to sell well and allow both the 3DS and Wii U to co-exist. A remake of Battletoads and Double Dragon, or a virtual library of all the classic Nintendo games would please a lot of fans he said. If it doesn’t happen on the Wii U, Teixeira hopes it’s something Nintendo considers for their next console. “It would be something people could look forward to. I also think the upcoming Super Smash Bros. will help the Wii U sell better, especially with Mega Man being included.” Daniel continues to play his Nintendo NES, Super NES, and Sega Genesis systems. He doesn’t own any current generation consoles, and doesn’t plan on buying an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Not yet anyway.

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When asked what he enjoys about his older consoles, he was quick to mention simplicity. “There’s not much focus on visuals, it’s all about the gameplay,” he said, while reminiscing about times where he only had one continue left, elevating the stakes to an all-time high as the next empty health bar would mean a trip back to level one. These are memories shared by Gregory Beard as well, who was checking out the store for the first time. “The NES was a fantastic machine in its day,” he said. “Nintendo had so many iconic characters and games.” The lasting legacy Nintendo established over time is undeniable. It’s amazing how the anticipation of a few games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 are keeping the Wii U from fizzling out completely. Though the future of the Wii U and Nintendo’s plans hangs in the air, there’s no doubt that Toy’s words speak the truth. “When it comes to classics, Nintendo is still number one.”

Nintendo Direct Round-up

Nintendo Direct Round-up - 2013-02-14 16:28:42

Nintendo Direct announces new titles and features for the 3DS and Wii U this morning, as well as some anticipated release dates. Shigeru Miyamoto also made his first appearance on the Nintendo Direct stage to discuss what he calls “the year of Luigi” and some new instalments to the Mario bros. franchise.

Read moreNintendo Direct Round-up